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Daily Business Report-Sept. 2, 2015

Daily Business Report-Sept. 2, 2015

Homes located near St. Augustine High School in San Diego.

Researchers Say, Don’t Buy

A Home Near A School

If you want to increase the value of your home, don’t buy near a school.

That’s the conclusion of new research conducted by real estate and economic experts in the School of Business Administration at the University of San Diego. It calls into question the idea that proximity to schools was a benefit to residential housing and therefore an important component of the old real estate adage, “location, location, location.”

At least for housing in San Diego.

The research was conducted by Stephen Conroy and Andrew Narwold, both professors of economics, and lead author Vivek Sah, associate professor of real estate within the School of Business Administration’s Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate.

“The home buyers in our study seem to find school proximity a net nuisance,” the authors said. “We found that the effect of school proximity is actually very negative for homes located very close (within 1,500 feet) to the school and then decreases with distance from the school.”

In other words, location, location, location does not, in fact, include proximity to schools. In reality, home prices rise about 0.755 percent for each 1,000 feet of distance from a school.

“A home with a value of $378,884 would increase in value to $381,745 by being 1,000 feet farther away from a school,” the authors said.

The inverse is also true — homes located within 500 feet of a school sell for approximately 6.7 percent less than other neighborhood homes. That net negative becomes even starker when a home is situated near a private school. In that case, homes within 500 feet experience a 14.4 percent decrease in sales price.

Sah, Conroy and Narwold used a data set of more than 20,000 residential housing sales in 2010 and 2011 in San Diego County, eliminating sale prices greater than $2.2 million and less than $100,000 and including spatial controls such as neighborhood indicators, distance to parks, downtown, the coast and highways/freeways. Additionally, they used the center of the school property as the focal distance measurement rather than the street address.

Their research is forthcoming under the title “Estimating School Proximity Effects on Housing Prices: The Importance of Robust Spatial Controls in Hedonic Estimates” in the Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics.


The MUOS-4 satellite lifts off from Cape Canaveral on an Atlas 5 rocket. Courtesy United Launch Alliance

The MUOS-4 satellite lifts off from Cape Canaveral on an Atlas 5 rocket. Courtesy United Launch Alliance

SPAWAR-Developed Satellite

Successfully Launched From Florida

Times of San Diego

The fourth satellite for the Navy’s Mobile User Objective System developed by SPAWAR in San Diego successfully blasted into orbit Wednesday aboard an Atlas rocket. The United Launch Alliance Atlas V 551 rocket carrying MUOS-4 lifted off at 3:18 a.m. Pacific time from Space Launch Complex-41 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

The MUOS satellites work like a smartphone network in space, providing secure voice, video and data communications for mobile U.S. forces such as SEAL teams.

“There are three critical points for the MUOS program today,” explained Navy Capt. Joe Kan, program manager for the Communications Satellite Program Office in San Diego. “First is that it’s operational, supporting the warfighter every day. Second, it brings enhanced capabilities over the legacy system. Third, it is critical for the tactical warfighter.”

Two MUOS satellites, launched in 2012 and 2013, are already providing communications capability from their geosynchronous orbits over the Pacific Ocean and the United States. A third satellite was launched in January and is undergoing final test.

“Today’s successful launch will enable the MUOS constellation to reach global coverage. The Lockheed Martin-built MUOS-4 satellite will deliver voice, data, and video communications capability, similar to a cellular network, to our troops all over the globe,” said Jim Sponnick, United Launch Alliance vice president for Atlas and Delta programs.

SPAWAR, the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command, develops communications and information capabilities for warfighters, with a goal of keeping them connected anytime and anywhere.

The Engineering and Interdisciplinary Sciences Complex, a fundraising initiative.

The Engineering and Interdisciplinary Sciences Complex, a fundraising initiative.

San Diego State University Fundraising

Campaign Recognized for Excellence

San Diego State University is one of 15 universities nationwide to be recognized this year for the comprehensive excellence of its fundraising program.

The award is from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), the professional association serving educational institutions worldwide and the advancement professionals who work on their behalf in alumni relations, communications, development and marketing.

CASE recognized The Campaign for SDSU for superior overall performance in 2015 and for sustained excellence based on the judges’ analysis of the last three years of fundraising data.

Launched in 2007, the campaign has raised more than $625 million to support students, faculty and academic programs and initiatives. The university raised a record $96.3 million in fiscal 2015 and grew its endowment to $192 million.

More than 53,000 donors have contributed to The Campaign for SDSU, including 113 who gave more than $1 million, and 1,500 newly minted donors from the Class of 2015. Recent graduates were asked to contribute at least $10 to SDSU’s general scholarship fund when they picked up their caps and gowns, and sixteen percent of them did so.

Through the campaign SDSU has endowed the Susan and Stephen Weber Honors College, and is raising support for the construction of a new Engineering and Interdisciplinary Sciences Complex, where researchers and entrepreneurs will work collaboratively to develop real-world applications for research discoveries that address the complex interdisciplinary challenges of our time.

Bill to Increase Voter Turnout Signed Into Law

City News Service

A San Diego lawmaker’s bill to prompt localities to hold elections at the same time as statewide contests in hopes of improving voter turnout was signed into law Tuesday by Gov. Jerry Brown.

Senate Bill 415 by Sen. Ben Hueso (D-San Diego). is designed to increase election turnouts in cities, counties and special districts where voter participation has plunged.

It will prohibit jurisdictions from holding elections that aren’t aligned with a state voting date if a previous non-concurrent vote has resulted in a 25 percent turnout decline from the average participation figures in the locality over the previous four statewide general elections.

The new law, which takes effect Jan. 1, 2018, provides an exception for special elections.

Carlsbad Warns Westfield Corp.

Not to Fight Strawberry Fields Project

Times of San Diego

Carlsbad political and business leaders warned shopping center developer Westfield Corp. on Monday not to challenge a competing development on the iconic strawberry fields site. Mayor Matt Hall accused Westfield of taking steps to circulate petitions against the Carlsbad City Council’s unanimous decision last week to proceed with development of the site while preserving 176 acres as open space.

“I urge you to abandon your challenge of the Carlsbad City Council’s unanimous approval of the 85/15 plan and focus your efforts on rehabilitating your Plaza Camino Real property,” wrote Hall in a letter to Westfield, adding that opposition “is not about the community but about market competition.”

Hall and other community leaders released letters to Westfield and spoke at a hastily-called press conference at the site on Cannon Road near Interstate 5.

Under the plan, Caruso Affiliated would develop 15 percent of the site and turn the remaining 85 percent into public open space along Agua Hedionada Lagoon. Caruso, which developed The Grove in Los Angeles, has a contract to purchase the land from San Diego Gas & Electric.

Carlsbad Strawberry Co. President Jimmy Ukegawa, whose fields are now rented from SDG&E, would continue to operate them under the plan. He said Westfield was “trying to overturn our city council’s unanimous decision and tear our city apart.”

Westfield issued a statement denying support — “financial or otherwise” — for a referendum drive but said the strawberry fields project deserved a more complete environmental review.

“We are disappointed by the efforts of Caruso Affiliated and its supporters to fabricate stories about Westfield, and creating a ‘straw man’ so as to divert attention away from the legitimate concerns of the citizens of Carlsbad and North County,” the company said.

Councilman Mark Packard said rumors were being spread that all of the space can be made into public land, when it is in fact private property zoned for commercial development.

Hall said he believed the new development, the outlet mall nearby and Westfield’s mall some three miles away could all operate profitably.

The group Citizens for North County has established a Facebook page opposing the development, but denies receiving funding from Westfield

Personnel Announcements

Cavignac & Associates Hires Account Manager

Amy Bryson

Amy Bryson

has been hired by Cavignac & Associates as an account manager in the agency’s Employee Benefits Department.

Bringing to Cavignac & Associates 10 years of experience in the insurance industry, Bryson will serve as the main point of contact at the agency for her assigned clients, and manage their employee benefits coverage.

Most recently, Bryson was the senior brokerage manager for Pollakov & Duke Health Insurance Services Inc., in San Diego, where she was employed for 10 years.  There she managed employee benefits for 40-50 small groups.

Bryson attended Grossmont College in El Cajon and Whitworth University in Spokane, Wash.  She is currently working toward her bachelor’s degree in business management.

Higgs Fletcher & Mack Adds Associates

Roger Clayton

Roger Clayton

John Nielsen

John Nielsen

Higgs Fletcher & Mack announced the addition of Roger W.R. Clayton III and John Nielsen as its newest associates. Clayton will assist Higgs’ Will Miller and Steve Cologne with health care and business litigation matters while Nielsen will work with Steve Pelletier and Pete Doody on business litigation and tort.

Clayton comes to the firm from Webb and Bordson, APC where he conducted extensive discovery, routinely produced pleadings, motions and attorney/client correspondences as well as advocated for both plaintiffs and defendants with a focus on employment and business litigation.

Prior to joining Higgs, Nielsen was an associate attorney at Greer & Associates, APC. In this role, he defended medical malpractice cases in San Diego, Orange, Los Angeles, Ventura, Kern, San Bernardino, Riverside and Imperial Counties.

Chris Conti Joins Fisher & Phillips

Chris Conti

Chris Conti

Fisher & Phillips LLP has added Chris Conti as a new associate to its San Diego office. Conti counsels and defends employers in a range of industries including hospitality, automobile dealerships, health care and financial services, among others.

Prior to joining Fisher & Phillips, Conti held the position of associate for the San Diego office of Gordon & Rees. He specialized in handling a variety of employment and labor law issues.

Conti has experience in civil trials and labor arbitrations involving employee discipline, contract disputes and traditional labor issues.


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